"Johnny B. Goode" is a seminal 1958 rock and roll song by Chuck Berry, ranked by Rolling Stone as the seventh greatest song ever on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the best guitar song on their list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.
The opening guitar riff on "Johnny B. Goode" may be the most famous single riff in rock and roll history. It is essentially a note-for-note copy of the opening single-note solo on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" (1946), played by guitarist Carl Hogan.
Although partly autobiographical, the inspiration for the song is said to have been Johnnie Johnson who played the piano and composed several songs with Berry, and is considered a major contributor to the unmistakable Berry sound. On earlier unreleased takes Chuck sang "colored boy" instead of "country boy", but it was changed for fear of it not being played on the radio. As a possible source for the last name, it has been noted that Berry was born on Goode Avenue in St. Louis.
Aware of the importance of the song to his fame and his image, Berry has written two more songs about Johnny, "Bye Bye Johnny" and "Go Go Go", and also titled an instrumental album as "Concerto in B. Goode".
Berry's recording of the song was included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing rock and roll, one of three American songs included among many cultural achievements of humanity.
In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Johnny B. Goode" at number 42 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In 2008, Rolling Stone place it at #1 on their list of The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time.
"Johnny B. Goode" has been mentioned many times by other artists and writers, with references in movies, television shows, commercials, books and other songs, including the following notable examples:
|AC/DC||Aerosmith||Bad Religion||BB King||Beach Boys||The Beatles|
|Big Tom And The Mainliners||Bill Haley & His Comets||Marc Broussard||Andrés Calamaro||Marty McFly||The Carpenters||Dion|
|Dr. Feelgood||Johnny Dowd||Earthlings?||John Farnham||Five Iron Frenzy||Freddie & the Dreamers||Green Day||The Grateful Dead|
|Hanson||Jimi Hendrix||Will Hoge||Buddy Holly||Elton John||Judas Priest||Jerry Lee Lewis|
|Julian Lennon||Led Zeppelin||Living Colour||LL Cool J||Lynyrd Skynyrd||MF Doom||Phillip Magee|
|Eddie Meduza||Frank Marino||Men at Work||Motörhead||NOFX||NRBQ||Off Kilter|
|Operation Ivy||Buck Owens||Phish||Elvis Presley||Prince||Ratdog||The Rolling Stones|
|Carlos Santana||The Sex Pistols||The Shadows||Slade||Slaughter & The Dogs||Status Quo||The Stimulators|
|Stray Cats||Los Suaves||George Thorogood||The Tornadoes||Peter Tosh||Cidade Negra||Twisted Sister|
|The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain||Uncle Tupelo||Brian Wilson||Johnny Winter|
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